Mary Griffith, the mother portrayed by Sigourney Weaver in Prayers for Bobby, penned the following letter that she wanted to share with PFLAGers and those who were touched by the film. It was shown on the final day of Outfest, the 27th Annual International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and the longest continuously running film festival in Los Angeles. Mary could not be present at the screening, but wanted to share the following thoughts:
My name is Mary Griffith. My life story, and that of my son Bobby (and our entire family), is depicted in the Emmy Award-nominated movie Prayers For Bobby. To say I am honored is an understatement. I am delighted to see this wonderfully executed film generate critical acclaim and meaningful consideration for the highest honor in the television industry. I am thrilled to acknowledge Sigourney Weaver's Emmy Award nominated Best Actress performance playing me (which I still find unbelievable!). I am reminded of the present day; of our public school teachers and administrators who are not allowed to validate "out" gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, and to provide proper education; of the military establishment excluding our gay children who take bullets alongside their non-gay peers in order to keep us from harm's way; of some religions openly and actively seeking to 'cure' our gay children, further promoting fear and ignorance; of setbacks in AIDS healthcare and education; of the lack of a Federal nondiscrimination policy protecting all Americans from discrimination; of the lack of a Federal marriage rights act guaranteeing equal protection under the law for all couples wanting to enjoy the sanctuary of marriage. I am also reminded of days past; the Stonewall riots; the assassination of Harvey Milk; the brutality of the Holocaust and the ultimate humiliation of the pink triangle; the horrific murder of Matthew Shepard and other hate crime attacks against far too many gay and lesbian teenagers.
Prayers for Bobby brings communion, guidance, honesty, harmony and finally liberation to parents, family members and others searching for meaning and peace, bringing comfort and understanding to their gay and lesbian children. Our gay children must experience the feelings of self-respect, knowing that they too are a part of the entire human race. This truth must be shared with all of our children, past, present and future. May I say "Thank you, Bobby". May I say "thank you" to my fiercely dedicated Emmy Award-nominated executive producers -- my dear friends Daniel Sladek and Chris Taaffe who -- along with their partner David Permut -- spent the last twelve years working tirelessly to make this film a reality. To elegantly tell my story. To ensure Bobby's memory with grace and dignity. Thank you to Lifetime Network, to screenwriter Katie Ford, to director Russell Mulcahy and all of you who worked so hard to bring Bobby's truth to light.
Thank you to PFLAG National for their leadership and passion, and all the PFLAG moms and dads out there. Thank you to the heroic gay rights activist, acclaimed journalist and author Leroy Aarons, whose memory will live on in my heart, whose book Prayers for Bobby captured every detail, every nuance, every aspect of my family life and Bobby's personal struggle. It is his original work that brought us here to celebrate this wonderful film. To all of our gay children past, present and future, this movie is for you. These words are from my heart.
Walnut Creek, CA
Our friends at The Huffington Post have also blogged about this. You can check it out by clicking here or going to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-mannino/emmy-nominated-iprayers-f_b_240567.html.